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What You Need to Know About Filling out the Birth Certificate

You will need to make sure that you've settled on an official name for the birth certificate. If you change your mind after it is filed, you will have to apply for a legal name change in court.

 Picking a name for your child is serious business, it can really impact their experience in school. Preparing for the Birth Certificate

I have seen a lot of names over the years, and I know all of the parents that I work with think through all of these things when choosing a name. For me the biggest personal struggle was picking the middle name. My son’s first name starts with a B, and our last name starts with a G… so his initials could spell a lot of things. I lost out to tradition, and we used his grandfathers name as his middle name… So his initials spell BEG. I wasn’t pleased, but I think less people are worried about it like I was.  

Another thing that I have seen difficult to manage in the moment of sleep deprivation and filling out official documents is the spelling of the name. It is so easy to flip or add a letter, especially if you have a slightly unique way of spelling the name. I highly recommend having it printed on a card beforehand just to help out in case you are exceptionally tired when filling out the form.


Identification and information to bring with you


You will need to have the mother’s full legal name, maiden name, place of birth, and Social Security number or official ID number if you are a green card holder. In North Carolina the mother is not required to list the father of the child if she does not choose to. If you choose to list the father of the child then you will need his full name. 


Other things to know


In some cases the birth certificate is also used to gather information on the general population. You may be required to provide some demographic information about both parents, such as where you were born, (City, State, Country, and sometimes what hospital). Marital status of the parents, race and education level.


During filling out this form you will also decide if the child will receive a social security number themselves. You can opt to do this step later. If you select to have the application for this be a part of the filling then you will receive the card in the mail a few weeks later. 


You will not go home with an ‘official copy’ of the birth certificate. To get this you will have to visit the register of deeds and pay for a copy, or you can request it online HERE

Prepare ahead of time


I recommend that you put together a folder that is part of your ‘labor packing’ that has copies of your birth plan, a page that you have printed out your baby’s name, all of mom and dad’s information and demographic info in case it is needed. Each State will vary on the information that it will ask for. Also print out your mailing address, so that you are sure that anything being mailed to you later ( the social security card) will come to the correct address.